By Lori Hanson
There is an ongoing debate in your head. You may not even know it’s there, might not hear the fighting or changing of the guards if you aren’t used to identifying the voices. But you’ve got two drivers with hands on the steering wheel of your mind. One is supportive, encouraging and helpful. The other pushes, prods and makes you feel guilty. Which voice do you listen to on a daily basis?
Meet your drivers; ego and authenticity. You can’t listen to both at the same time. You are either functioning in an ego state and buying into all the BS you’re being fed, or you’re listening to your authentic voice. The voice that knows what you need and helps you slow down to take care of yourself and work at a pace that keeps you balanced and sane.
You know the voices, don’t you? It’s like asking if you talk to yourself, of course you do! We all do. But it’s what you say, hear and respond to that makes a huge difference in what you feel, what you do and how you get to where you’re going.
When you feel pressured, when you’re worried about what someone else thinks, when you race to pass the other car, or accelerate faster than they do from a stoplight…all ego.
Ego is great at helping you feel the constant pressure to do more, be more and achieve more. Ego will beat you up because ego never stops. There is never enough for ego. Ego will wear you out and run you dry. Ego will hide you from yourself. You’ll live a charade in a fantasy world. Ego will tell you it’s more important to be right and you’ll lose friends and jobs because of it.
Think about someone you know that operates on ego. It’s not hard to identify them is it? They have to win, they can be obnoxious, they can fill the evening telling you about how great they are and they may look like hell from pushing themselves so hard.
On the other side of the car lives the authentic voice. The pure, true, honest voice that cares about you and others. The voice of reason, the voice that encourages you and lets you know when you’ve done enough and it’s time to slow down.
The authentic voice applauds you for the values and qualities you have and never beats you up. The authentic voice knows where and what you can improve and is open to honest, helpful feedback. It isn’t defensive and looks for the lesson in what is shared.
People who are authentic are wonderful to be around. They have a calming energy and a truth and transparency that is refreshing. You can depend on them, they do what they say they will and help you however they can. They appreciate you and are grateful for the things you do to help them. It’s a walk in the park compared to your ego-minded friends.
As with everything in life, you have a choice which voice you listen to. In short, the authentic voice is all grown up and the ego is like a six-year old child. Regardless of where you are now, you can make a change and turn up on the volume on your authentic voice. You’ll still hear the overtones of ego now and again, but you’ll always have a choice which frequency you tune into. Choose wisely—your success and health depend on it.